Happy chocolate, roses, and lots of snuggles day! 🙂 As a fun Valentine’s Day treat, I encourage you to pop over to Family Fiction to read my short inspirational romance titled, Love Long Lost but Not Forgotten.
With my debut novel, Beyond I Do, releasing from New Hope Publishers this fall, I thought some of you, accustomed to my blogging, might enjoy checking out my fiction. If you like it, please consider giving the story a “thumbs-up”, which constitutes as a vote for the readers’ chioce awards, and of course, feel free to share the story with your friends. :)You can also visit the board I created for this story on Pinterest.
I also encourage you to stop by Faith Filled Friends to share your favorite Valentine’s Day memory and learn who won our Launch give-away basket. Then come back tomorrow for some Faith-filled news.
Today author Laura Jackson shares a thought-provoking look at the “then and nows” of teenagehood. As a mom of a teen, I’m always on the alert for inforamtion that might help me understand and reach the heart of my teen. As a fun bonus, Laura is giving away a copy of her young adult novel, Worth the Wait to one reader randomly chosen from the comments below. and learLooking back on my teen years, I remember hearing one of the most dreaded phrases over and over.
Teens… Taking Time to Reach Their Heart by Laura Jackson
When I was your age……
It’s usually followed by some complaint about how today’s youth somehow don’t measure up to previous generations. A quick look at the news will convince anyone that today’s teens are struggling. But to compare them to how things were in the past isn’t quite fair.
Consider the things teens today deal with that we didn’t:
*Social Media—constant communication with others, cyber bullying, and sexting
*Sins blatantly shown on TV as normal, accepted, and even admirable. Casual sex, drugs, and underage drinking are status quo and even glorified in both TV, books, movies, and music.
*Violence as entertainment (video games and TV)
*A focus on outward beauty—the impossible standards that photoshop drops on our shoulders
*A society that is becoming less and less accepting of Christian values and beliefs
Yes, today’s teens aren’t the same as kids in past generations. They’re dealing with things we never thought about. (I’m so glad I didn’t have social media when I was a teen, aren’t you?)
Our Christian teens spend most of their day being bombarded by the world and its temptations. Their struggle is real, and it’s hard.
Instead of telling them what things like when we were their age, let’s sit back and listen. Because we don’t understand what they’re going through. And that’s okay.
When we listen without interrupting, we build relationships. When we listen without lecturing, we give them a safe place to rest. When we love them unconditionally and pray without ceasing, we can change things because even though the world is ever-changing, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And that’s what teens need most. Unchanging, unwavering, and unshakable love.
And just maybe, it’s what we all need. Perhaps the generations aren’t so different after all.
Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life with a close-knit family and the perfect boyfriend. But her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Ellie doesn’t get it. She always does the right thing – doesn’t God owe her a happy life? Through her heartache, Ellie learns that sometimes what seems like the end is really just the beginning and that what God has for us is always worth the wait.
Laura Jackson loves books—reading and writing them. A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th grade language arts before earning her Master’s degree and becoming a school librarian. Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.
Let’s talk about this! If you’re a parent or a grandparent of a teenager, what are some ways you’ve attempted to reach their heart? Do you ever feel as if you’re giving more corrections than affirmations? If so, perhaps it’s time for some one-on-one bonding. Do you try to spend time with them consistently? Lately, with book contracts, ministry obligations, and all the other busyness that comes with every-day life, I can easily get so wrapped up in my to-dos, I forget to connect. So, I have to schedule time in, time where just my daughter and I get away to do something fun or silly. And I believe our relationship is much better for it!
Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook, AND get entered into the drawing for a copy of Worth the Wait.